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Shanghai 3rd best in Asia Pacific for shopping

By Richard Fu (Shanghai Daily)

08:07, October 29, 2012

SHANGHAI is ranked the third-best shopping destination in the Asia Pacific area, but high prices pose a difficulty for tourists who shop in the city, according to a new survey.

Switzerland-based Global Blue, a tax-free shopping business that handles tax refunds for foreign shoppers, teamed up with the Economist Intelligence Unit to rank 25 cities in the region, valuing candidates in five categories: shops, affordability, convenience, hotels and transport, and culture and climate.

Shanghai scored 63.1 out of 100 in overall results. The city aims to increase total tourist spending by 70 percent between the record-setting 2010, when visitors paid out US$46.5 billion, and 2015.

Hong Kong (68.5) finished top in the index while the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur (65.1) was runner-up.

Shanghai and Beijing, which came in fourth, were ranked highly in tourism infrastructure, but the two cities were pegged as expensive locations to buy.

That's primarily driven by high sales and luxury taxes. The report cited a Rolex Datejust, for example. The watch, which retails for between US$5,000 and US$6,000 in Japanese cities on the index, will set back a buyer over US$9,000 in Shanghai and US$10,000 in Beijing.

Shanghai was in the second place in the hotels and transport category, only after Tokyo. The city also came first in terms of convenience.

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